The Village is Open For Business
“It’s Poppin,” is how Twin Lakes Inn General Manager Andy Wald described things down in southern Lake County, as a slow start to the summer season shifts into high gear along Highway 82. It’s summertime in Twin Lakes!
When Leadville Today caught up with Wald, he was doing his volunteer shift at the Red Rooster Visitor Center at Twin Lakes. This one-stop-shop for all village knowledge is conveniently located adjacent to the US Forest Service parking lot. The old log building is open Thursday through Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Many thanks to the Friends of Twin Lakes who keep this tourist tell-all open and staffed throughout the summer season as Independence Pass opens for the summer welcoming in tourists from around the world! If you haven’t stopped in for a while, do so! The place is looking top-notch, offering exhibits, literature, and free wifi! No admission but donations are always appreciated.
If you’ve decided like many folks to stay a bit closer to home this summer, then you’re pretty lucky to live so close to this beautiful haven. During the Cloud City’s heyday, the Village – and Interlaken Resort – were considered vacation getaways for Leadville city-slickers! So be sure to make a Twin Lakes day of it and support those small businesses owned by friends and neighbors. Things may have gotten off to a slow start, but this weekend the whole village is shifting into high gear and ready for your arrival!
The Tasty Eats
The Twin Lakes Inn is fully open for the summer season, But remember you’d better have reservations this summer because with the new social distancing guidelines reservations are strongly recommended. Located inside The Twin Lakes Inn, this Saloon is a full-service restaurant and bar, serving up tasty meal choices and drinks in a true Wild West setting. Diners can enjoy tasty appetizers, drinks and meals in the bar, the sunroom or in the Dayton Room, which takes its title from the original name – Dayton – given to Twin Lakes Village back in the 1800s. Their friendly, capable restaurant staff make sure that every guest enjoys a relaxed and scrumptious dining experience. As for food, the meals feature comfortable Colorado and American cuisine served just the way you love it! Reservations: 719-486-7965.
Punky’s Food Trailer is open for the 2020 Summer Season! Located in the heart of Twin lake Village off Highway 82 this popular eatery is a hot spot for hikers and fishermen. And on any summer weekend, the line stacks up quickly as Independence Pass travelers pull off for some tasty treats. Diners can count on some old-fashioned burgers, smoked pulled-pork plates, Reubens, and all loaded up with a hearty pile of ribbon fries, with a variety of cold drinks to wash it all down! Take it on-the-road, or pull off and find a shady picnic table in the front yard of the Shooting Star Gallery where the food trailer can be found parked in front of at 6571 Highway 82. Punky’s Mobile Trailer is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Foodies can connect with them on the Punky’s Facebook Page or by phone at (303) 204-7363.
Coffee Bus Bob. Every good village should have some noteworthy characters. And along the way, Twin Lakes has seen plenty. Of course, Innkeeper Maggie Webber who held down most of the town for the early 20th century. And who can forget Johnny Canoe, more recently? And so it goes with Coffee Bus Bob. If you’ve traveled through the village of Twin Lakes lately, you probably noticed the (now two!) sunshine yellow VW Bus parked along the highway with the big, bold COFFEE sign in its front window. While self-explanatory to most folks, this mobile java machine celebrate year two this summer, serving up hot, fresh coffee as well as some new menu items, including breakfast burritos! Owned by Bob Dalzell, the bus will be grinding up those beans all season! Stop in for your road-weary jolt to get you up over Independence Pass or after a day out on the water or trails.
The Visual Treats
Be sure to stop in at Shooting Star Gallery. They display and support many local artists and creative folks. Located a block west from the Twin Lakes General Store this co-op of Twin Lakes artists includes the works of more than 15 area artists work done in a variety of mediums including wood, bronze, clay, stone, paper, paint, soap, glass, and fiber. Visitors to the gallery can expect a broad range of items offered, from handmade jewelry, wood carvings, stained glass, hand-knit hats, and so much more. The Shooting Star Gallery is open every summer to mid-October. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily. If the lights are on or the door is open, stop in. The Shooting Star Gallery is located at 6531 CO Highway 82, Twin Lakes, CO 81251. You can connect with them on their website or the Shooting Star Gallery Facebook Page.
Twin Lakes General Store is front-and-center to anything you may need during your Twin Lakes visit. From snacks and drinks (including beer, etc.) to fishing supplies and maps, this general store truly makes use of every inch of space to offer guests whatever they may need. But right now store owner Bob Mathes is doing something extra special. As posted on the store’s Facebook page: “Sorting thru over 400 big name Classic rock and old country greats albums, in the store June 13 until gone! (sorry, I kept Beatles) All priced midrange except big icons and John Denver which are ‘tourist priced’. Maybe the largest number of Fleetwood Mac Rumors within 100 miles (7).” The post also noted that 5% of the albums’ sales will go to the LT100 Legacy Foundation. Come and get your vintage vinyl while you can because these discs will go quick!
The Outdoor Feats
There are now three boat rental places in Twin Lakes if that’s any indication of how water recreation opportunities are growing in southern Lake County. The newest kid in the village is Sup and Cycle. The storefront office is located in the Dance Hall building in the quaint village of Twin Lakes, offering watercraft and mountain bike rentals as well as water and land conditions.
Twin Lakes Canoe & Kayak Adventures is located in the heart of the village but its easiest to just meet them down near the Red Rooster Boat Ramp if you want to rent a boat, canoe, or kayak and get right out on the water.
Ad finally, visitors should definitely consider taking a ride with Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tour. These scenic, narrated tours of Twin Lakes include both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes, as well as the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800s as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. The views can’t be beat and you’ll learn plenty about the geology of the area, wildlife, history, and even some Twin Lakes folklore.
Plus you can ride confidently knowing that owners Jim and Lexie Palmore are licensed Coast Guard captains and have secured a special permit with the U.S. Forest Service to run their tours. The Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tours depart daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and other times, by reservation. Their mobile ticket office can be found at the Red Rooster Board Ramp with the U.S. flag flying. The turnoff from Highway 82 is at the White Star Campground, look for their sign! More details can be found on their website, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (903) 930-1568.
So that’s a wrap for this installment of the Leadville Today Twin Lakes update series. Stay tuned there’s more to come! Or better yet, go see it for yourself!
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